You may be aware that a copy of the ongoing iTransport work – commissioned by Stapleford and Great Shelford Parish Councils to investigate the feasibility of a local alternative to Greater Cambridge Partnership’s (GCP) greenbelt busway – has recently been put into the public domain. This was done without permission and it has now been removed.
Whoever took the unpublished document has reproduced GCP’s plans and falsely portrayed them as the findings of the iTransport work. Putting a document into the public domain without permission is one thing, but misleading people is quite something else.
To be clear: the iTransport report reproduces GCP’s plans in order to critique them and to show how inaccurate they are. Having done this, it then conclusively demonstrates that an alternative route works without the demolitions that GCP claims would be necessary.
iTransport work is being done in successive phases. The final report will further clarify the situation. Commenting on progress to date, Stapleford Parish Council has previously said that:
“Four properties would potentially be affected by the Shelford Rail Alignment. The proximity of these premises to the route means it is prudent at this concept design stage to highlight them as ‘affected properties’ to allow the option to be appraised on a robust ‘worst case’ basis. The residential properties have been identified as ‘affected properties’ principally having regard to construction operations when the boundaries may be impacted. Future design development would necessarily seek to reduce the possibility of any impact on even the boundaries of these residential properties.”
For ‘boundary’ read ‘fence’. What the iTransport report is saying is that during construction work it could be that it is just the garden fences of four properties that would be temporarily affected (e.g. taken down and then put back in place). There is no suggestion here of the demolitions that GCP’s own feasibility study wanted.
Work by iTransport on the consolidated final report commissioned by the Parish Councils is reviewing its findings within the context of various other large-scale infrastructure initiatives, including Cambridge South Station and East West Rail, and compares journey times and traffic projections with a business case overview for GCP’s greenbelt route versus an ‘old railway line’ alternative. This is a work in progress. When completed, it will be published.
Finally, Stapleford Parish Council would like to counter additional misinformation on the costs incurred by the two Parish Councils. Stapleford Parish Council has openly agreed and fully minuted discussions to ‘match fund’ what is given in a public fundraiser to support iTransport report costs. The cost to Stapleford for the first report was £2,500 and Great Shelford agreed to match this. It is the view of Stapleford Parish Council that this is money well spent to save our greenbelt for future generations and to protect our special landscape from development.
For further information about the Cambridge South East Transport (CSET) initiative, Stapleford Parish Council’s related position statement and responses to CSET consultations, please visit https://staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk/parish-history/cset-busway-proposals/.